Then last summer, after a volunteer stint at a farm in the Bitterroot Valley, I managed to return, this time with a girlfriend. The splendor around us left her in the same hushed marvel I'd experienced two years before. All the same, I don't think Flathead would mean what it does without Barry and Anita. On this visit, the guesthouse was rented, so they just put us up in their home. We ate dinner together (braised elk and a salad of vegetables from the garden spiked with garlic) and talked past midnight about everything — gun rights, staring, and the Philippines, where their son and his fiancée served in the Peace Corps. Anita got me thinking about her gluten-free, dairy-free diet — with a loophole for logs of grass-fed butter — and I got Barry, a devotee of technical journals, thinking about opening a novel for the first time in years.
July, the Senate rejected the bonus 62 to 18. Most of the protesters went home, aided by
Hoover's offer of free passage on the rails. Ten thousand remained behind, among them a
hard core of Communists and other organizers. On the morning of July 28, forty protesters
tried to reclaim an evacuated building in downtown Washington scheduled for demolition.
The city's police chief, Pellham Glassford, sympathetic to the marchers, was knocked down
by a brick. Glassford's assistant suffered a fractured skull. When rushed by a crowd, two
other policemen opened fire. Two of the marchers were killed.
Bud Fields and his family. Alabama. 1935 or 1936. Photographer: Walker Evans.
Squatter's Camp, Route 70, Arkansas, October, 1935.
Photographer: Ben Shahn
Philipinos cutting lettuce, Salinas, California, 1935. Photographer: Dorothea Lange.
In order to maximize their ability to exploit farm workers, California employers recruited from China, Japan, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the American south, and Europe.
Roadside stand near Birmingham, Alabama, 1936. Photographer: Walker Evans.
Farmer and sons, dust storm, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936. Photographer: Arthur Rothstein.
The drought that helped cripple agriculture in the Great Depression was the worst in the climatological history of the country. By 1934 it had dessicated the Great Plains, from North Dakota to Texas, from the Mississippi River Valley to the Rockies. Vast dust storms swept the region.
Migrant pea pickers camp in the rain. California, February, 1936. Photographer: Dorothea Lange.
In one of the largest pea camps in California. February, 1936. Photographer: Dorothea Lange.
The photograph that has become known as "Migrant Mother" is one of a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made in February or March of 1936 in Nipomo, California. Lange was concluding a month's trip photographing migratory farm labor around the state for what was then the Resettlement Administration. In 1960, Lange gave this account of the experience: I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean- to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it. (From: Popular Photography , Feb. 1960).